Ismail M Moolla
The call by the Freedom Front (FF) for the establishment of a tenth province in South Africa to secure the protection of the Afrikaner language and culture is nothing new.
This concept has already been tried very successfully over the years. The more than six million member Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints in the US is the perfect example. The people who belong to this church are known to most non-members as Mormons.
Their stronghold, like Bloemfontein in the Free State is for the Afrikaner, is the valley of Great Salt Lake in the Utah State. Mormons founded the city in 1847 and now make up about 70% of the population.
Utah became a territory in 1850 and Salt Lake City, the capital, was incorporated the following year. Governed entirely by the church, the settlement prospered. Conflicts with US government delayed statehood. But in 1896 Utah became a state with Salt Lake City as the capital.
There is not much of a difference between Mormons and the Afrikaaner. They are both religious people and their hard work makes their land produce fine crops. Among them are builders, businessmen, industrialists, doctors, engineers and other professionals. With a culture of their own music, food and so on, their background is similar in many ways except for the fact that Mormons speak English, while Afrikaners speak Afrikaans.
If the tenth province were to be established, in the same way that the Mormons celebrate July 24 as Pioneer Day, Afrikaners could also set their own commemorative day on the calender.
Utah State has been officially declared by the US government as being for Mormons. Likewise, assuming a tenth province was established in South Africa for the Afrikaners, it could be practical and economically viable.
I am of the opinion that if it can work for the Mormons, it can work for the Afrikaners too, in an area they desire to establish themselves. Who knows? The new province could go onto prosper and become a vast metropolitan city in the future South Africa – just as Utah is in the US. Perhaps with the Afrikaners establishing their own territory, the country may finally get to see the much desired peace, stability and harmony that all of us so pine for.
Resolving the Afrikaner problem once and for all means the rest of the country can get on with nation building. But whatever the outcome, apartheid must not be allowed to be re-introduced in the tenth province and this must be made very clear to the FF.
We have a new Constitution and the province must abide by it. If the FF determines its policies, why not give it a chance and see what comes of it?
Ismail M Moolla is a reader of The New Age in Umzinto, KZN